Monday Morning Jukebox: On The Grammys and Timbaland

The Grammys happened. No sense discussing it though, given that they almost certainly rewarded the wrong people. It’s what the Grammys is famous for. Here, in fact, is a just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg discussion of horrendous decisions made by the good people at Grammys. The name that popped out most at me was Timbaland‘s, both because he didn’t…

Briefly, On The Boy Scouts, The Catholic Church, and Algebra

Texas’s Rick Perry is predictably aghast that his beloved Boy Scouts of America (BSA) would even consider even the possibility of admitting gays into the organization. While addressing the Texas Scouts 64th Annual Report To The State, Perry said the following: “Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive…

Why So Serious?

On May 5, I will run the Pittsburgh Marathon. I do this not because I am a good runner; quite the opposite in fact. To paraphrase Buffalo Bill, I’m a big fat guy: 6’3” and 240ish pounds. I run slowly and haltingly. I swear and curse while I’m out there. I sweat enough to thoroughly…

Briefly, On Football’s Culture and Rape

On Monday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will compete for college football’s national championship. This is the kind of thing that gets sportswriters in a tizzy. If you’re of a certain Age, Notre Dame is what college football is all about, so the school’s sudden (and entirely unexpected) reappearance in the sport’s championship is a…

Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012

Dave Brubeck has passed away. He was 91. “Take Five” is one of my favorite pieces of music. When I hear it, I am reminded of my childhood, I am reminded of listening to Pittsburgh’s WDUQ, and I am reminded, cheesily, of crisp evenings with the hint of potential. Update From an excellent New York…

Friday Jukebox: Music Is Better Than Politics

That is “Timebomb” by the Old 97’s, a fantastic song that has been included on several soundtracks, including the relatively good one that accompanied the entirely forgettable Clay Pigeons. Without getting too heteronormative, I’d say that it’s an absolutely balls-to-the-wall song. I’m relatively certain that I’ve always thought this, from the first time I heard…

Briefly, On The Rational Consumption Of Coffee

Rose Woodhouse’s excellent post about voting and economic rationality once again rekindled my own interest in the idea that we as human beings are capable of deciding upon the rationality of another person’s decisions. Perhaps that’s phrased wrong: we’re obviously capable of judging the apparently irrational decisions of third-parties. The question that interests me is…

Briefly, About Treme

Starting Sunday, I’ll be posting recaps of David Simon’s Treme. I recognize in advance that this site doesn’t generally go in for this sort of thing – I’ve seen open threads about The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad but never full recaps – so I greatly appreciate Erik and Tod encouraging me to do so…

Mansplain to Me

I am routinely regarded, particularly by those who don’t know me, as a jerk. I know this because people in my office and my building remind me that this interpretation is widespread. They don’t do so cruelly; we all get along. But I am a curmudgeon and they are not and this is a sticking…

Instant Pleasure (on Rufus Wainwright, Coffee, and Running Shoes)

Rufus Wainwright got married, and although all of the “No gay marriages for ANYBODY!” crowd called immediately for their fainting couches, the world continued to spin on its axis. Wainwright’s a (ridiculously) good singer, as evidenced by his cover of “Hallelujah” but what I like him for most is “Instant Pleasure.” You can find it…

Doing (Sports) Journalism Right

My baseline assumption about sports journalists is that they’re essentially glorified stenographers engaged in nothing more than elaborate public relations campaigns dedicated to the preservation and exultation of athletic institutions. I am as confused by their desire to produce that work as I am by the musician who seeks nothing more than the production of…

Sports Media And (Incredibly Mild) Critique Is Making Me So Low

Hope Solo is angry. Although her team had won 3-0 today against an undersized Colombia, Brandi Chastain, an NBC commentator for the match, had criticized one of the team’s defenders. Solo, who counts on those defenders, wanted to make something clear: color commentators are there to approvingly praise American players. They are not to offer…